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  • suzannenorquist

My First Piano Recital –The Little Kids And Me

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

Last month I performed in my very first piano recital—the little kids and me. I knew what to expect because my daughter took piano lessons for ten years. But performing feels different than watching.

My logical brain knew that none of those parents cared if I could play. They hadn’t come to see me. However, the packed church made me question my decision to perform.

The teacher lined us up in chairs based on our experience, from Level 1A to Level 6 and beyond. I wasn’t even seated with teenagers, who are far more advanced than me. When I took my seat, a parent kindly told me I wasn’t supposed to sit there because those chairs were reserved for the kids.

The little boy in front of me asked what book I was on and seemed pleased that I used the same book with the same goofy picture as him. Impressing a seven-year-old is easy.

Like all the kids, I took my turn. I stated my name and the pieces I would play. Then I sat at the piano and forgot how to play my songs. I just played the parts I could remember a few of times until it came back to me. Then it was over.

A couple of nice people told me I did a good job. It’s okay. No one knows me in this town. No one except the hairdresser. At my next appointment, she said, “I saw you play piano.” Small town hairdressers see all.

Our society has decided we will learn new things when we are young, and then we will stop learning. I don’t agree. I still want to do so many things.

My grandmother provided an excellent example. She learned to paint when she was in her fifties, and she enjoyed painting for forty years. Her paintings won ribbons in the county fair. They still grace my walls, my parents’ walls, my daughter’s walls, my sister’s walls. It’s her legacy.

This is the same woman who, when she was ninety years old, said, “The girls and I have decided when it is twenty below or colder, it is too cold to walk in the morning.”

Like fifteen below is okay for walking?! I have a tough act to follow.

I did a Google search to find out if I was alone in starting new things mid-way through life.

Here are a few of the examples I found.

Robert Frost published his first poem in his sixties.

Colonel Sanders didn’t start Kentucky Fried Chicken until he was in his sixties.

Laura Ingalls Wilder published her first novel at sixty-five.

Grandma Moses didn’t start painting until she was in her seventies.

Gladys Burrill ran her first marathon at eighty-six years old.

So, when I sit with the kids at the recital, I am in good company. Next year, I’ll be with the kids who are at Level 2, and they will remember that I’m one of them.

Eventually, I will play well, and no one will even wonder when I started.

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